San Jose State University president Mary Papazian announced Thursday she would resign by the end of the year, ending a term that began in 2016, seven years after abuse allegations first surfaced and were dismissed against an athletics trainer who continued to work with female athletes.
As reported by The Mercury News of San Jose, Papazian had tried to position herself as the first president to truly act on the athletes’ behalf by opening a new investigation in 2019 into accusations against athletic trainer Scott Shaw. Her efforts were criticized as too little, too late.
Papazian had promoted athletic director Marie Tuite, who left the university six weeks ago while facing accusations she retaliated against a swim coach who for years tried to protect the female athletes.
Then, in a blistering report two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Justice accused the Papazian administration of launching the 2019 probe only under pressure from outside groups and said that the new investigation was deeply flawed, The Mercury News reported.
Papazian’s resignation comes just days after the university reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over the sexual harassment case involving Shaw, who resigned in August 2020.
Papazian said in a statement that her departure would “not impact our intention and obligation to understand what occurred.” The school also noted that it has expanded and boosted funding for its Title IX office, which investigates sex abuse cases, and launched a chaperone policy so student athletes do not have to be alone during any sports medicine treatment, according to The Mercury News.
The university said Thursday there would be a nationwide search to find a new president.